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tv   Reaction to United States v. Texas Oral Argument  CSPAN  April 19, 2016 2:15am-2:24am EDT

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terms of its implications. that means that these programs are on auto pilot, whereas major and important programs like defense, like money for the homeless, for students, and so on, are argued over every year in the traditional budget process itself. meanwhile, these other entitlement programs, sort of like the mighty mississippi, keep rolling on. without any -- unless there are major changes made in those programs. the national budgeting roundtable was also mentioned -- that the three of us were on. it is an organization that kicks around ideas on the budget process and we argue over them and then, some of them are put together in proposals, some of which you have in your documents. and one of the things that is -- has not yet reached
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the stage of being published, but we are working on is the idea of the whole area of entitlement programs with the concept of turning the entitlements or taking entitlements together and turning them into a real budget , a long-term budget, 25 to 30 year budget, which is more similar to the way we do discretionary programs in the sense that this is a real number, as opposed to a projection. this idea really has four elements to it. in terms of what would happen. first of all, congress would enact a 25 to 30-year budget for all the major entitlements. that's principally social security, medicare, medicaid. simultaneously, it would enact a 25 to 30-year budget for tax revenue alongside the spending side. and taxes in a sense are similar to entitlements in that we make changes in the tax code, we guess at what the impact will be on revenue, but there isn't a
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budget per se for the revenue side. so, in the sense, both sides of the equation would be included. the third element is that every four years, there would be a formal reassessment of that long-term budget. congress would in a formal way, reevaluated, look at it in comparison to what is going on in the economy, what can be sustained, what other major goals there are, and make kind of midcourse corrections to this long-term budget, which would give us a real picture of what the major entitlements would look like. and then finally the third element is a trigger mechanism of some form that would keep us to that long-term budget. above,it drops below or there would be a correction that ,ould be built in automatically unless congress in one of these four year reassessments made a
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change. they would be quite different rules than we have today. many countries don't have it in quite the form we have talked about. but certainly, as maya mentioned and others, have look at the long-term budget generally for their countries and to think about this a lot more than we do in this country. if we were to do this and try to put it into place, a long-term budget of this nature for entitlements, there are clearly some issues that would have to be thought very hard about. i just want to mention two. one is, can a congress really by the congress' way into the future, as to what should be spent on medicare or social security or other programs? well, not in a constitutional sense. the constitution does not allow a congress to do that, to require nor to put in , to forceorities
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constitutionally the future congresses to stay on track. it can produce rules, however, and say that unless congress were to change these rules, this would be the rule in the future. the only these rules can be sustained is for there really to be a broad consensus that they make sense. part of the reason for including revenue, as well as entitlement spending, is that both sides of the aisle have a good incentive to see some control, some sense of what these are going to look like way in the future. the second thing to me the consider is, can you really have triggers? can you attract, effectively keep a budget on track over this many years? well, i think you can, although it is not absolutely clear what the best way is to do this. some people argue there should be automatic changes in programs and revenue. maybe, for example, automatic changes in tax rates if the
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revenue fell short of what was in the budget or that there might be changes in payments in the medicare program. some in the audience might already be thinking, that is not thek very well with sustainable growth rate, but that is one which do it. -- that is one way to do it. another way to do it might be to have an external body that watches over this long-term budget and if it starts to get off track in any profound way, that this external body would offer some solutions and these might be subject to an indicted consideration by the congress, a fast-track up and down process. we have that in place, especially for medicare with the so-called ipab. not a popular body, but we do have that. another way to do it would be to external body withbo
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ways to stay on track for a long-term budget. and maybe a supercommittee within the congress itself a much more powerful version of the budget committee, but some kind of either strengthened budget committee or some combination of the budget committee and other leadership individuals to say, well, among those options, or if you have the outside body being the default option, then the supercommittee might modify that and put it into place. if they didn't, then the outside 's default proposal would take precedence. there are various ways to do this. let me just say in conclusion, when you look at the budget process in the united states, it's really hard to think that it is a serious process. first of all, we don't actually pass budgets, as you heard at the very beginning from the
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congressman, but you can't be a serious budget if roughly 2/3 of spending are not really subject to an annual analysis. so, in what sense is this a budget? when only 1/3 of federal spending is really looked at in any consequent way? so, i think that is a very important aspect of thinking about why we need to move in this direction. and rethink that in the kind of proposal we are developing that we reach a reasonable compromise between assuring certainty to people who are planning for their retirement, the older i get, the more important i think this is, in terms of being secure in the future. but also recognizing that you of theust have 2/3 budget essentially out of control, given the concerns about the deficit and the debt
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especially in the future. think that aat we long-term budget of this nature for this major parts of the mandatory programs, so-called entitlements, is a major part of getting it revamped budget act into place that can successfully keep our budget on track and do so realistically, within the constraints of the economy and of our other objectives and goals for our federal budget. >> thank you. . marvin turn to dr phaup. and then afterwards, we will turn it over to the audience. mr. phaup: maya asked me to talk about tax expenditures today and their treatment in the budget. i can only begin to say something about this by first bmaking lynn


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